WHEN a support worker had backache she thought it was nothing more than a strain.
But when Jean Rice visited a walk-in centre she was quickly diagnosed with a life-threatening condition and taken to hospital.
Now the 56-year-old, who works with adults with learning difficulties, wants to say thank you to nurse Jayne Fairbrother at the St Mary’s Treatment Centre in Milton Road, Portsmouth.
She said: ‘My job is very active and I thought it was no more than a strain.
‘But the pain increased and by the end of my four-night shift pattern, my manager said she was worried and encouraged me to go to the doctors.
‘I couldn’t get a GP’s appointment so I went along to the treatment centre and that decision saved my life.
I couldn’t get a GP’s appointment so I went along to the treatment centre and that decision saved my lifePatient Jean Rice
‘I was seen quickly and Jayne’s diagnostic skills were excellent.
‘She carried out tests and told me I had to go to QA immediately.
‘As I began to realise things were significantly more serious than I had imagined, she kept me calm and well-informed as we waited for the ambulance.’
At QA Mrs Rice, of Oracle Drive, Waterlooville, was diagnosed with pneumonia, a pleural effusion and empyema – this is when pus develops on the lungs.
As well as badly affecting the right lung, the infection had begun to affect her liver.
She said: ‘Jayne’s decision to send me to QA saved my life. A consultant told me I was on the verge of septicaemia and I could have died.’
Mrs Rice spent 12 nights on the respiratory unit at QA and then had four nights in Southampton’s cardiothoracic unit.
She is now recovering at home.
The Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group, which pays for health services, hopes people read this story and be encouraged to use walk-in centres.
Dr Jim Hogan, head of the CCG, said: ‘It’s always fantastic to hear reports of patients receiving the highest quality services from the NHS and plaudits for staff.
‘I think this case is obviously an excellent advertisement for the walk-in services at St Mary’s.
‘We are always encouraging patients to think of options for their healthcare other than A&E at QA.’